Types and Grades of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a condition that goes by many names, some of them downright crude (The term “man boobs” comes to mind). If you asked the average person on the street, many would probably admit to believing that gynecomastia is a rare condition. The fact is, however, that the excess growth of breast tissue that leads to the appearance of female-like breasts occurs in around half of all men

The condition can show up in infants, pubescent boys, and older men. For many, the breast growth goes away on its own. For others, the male breasts persist, leading to diminished self-esteem.

The cause of gynecomastia is typically an imbalance between the male and female hormones (testosterone vs androgens), leading to excess breast growth. Other causes can include prescription drug side effects, illicit drug use, steroid abuse, and some diseases. 

Gynecomastia doesn’t always look the same in every male who experiences the condition. Some men have minor gyno while others have severe gynecomastia that mimics female breasts. Scientists have devised a grading system to help diagnose men with the condition. The type and grade of gynecomastia will determine the proper course for treatment. 

The types and grades of gynecomastia are as follows:

Gyno grades types

Grade 1: Small Breast Enlargement without Excess Skin

This type of gynecomastia is considered minor, which means there is a slight amount of breast growth that sticks out from the chest. In most cases, you might not be able to tell if the boy or man has gynecomastia while clothed, while others may have breasts that do show through clothing. Asymmetry may also be present, where one breast is slightly larger than the other. Breast reduction surgery, otherwise known as gynecomastia surgery, can be a solution when the breast growth persists.
Surgery may also help treat any psychological issues that become present on account of the breast growth condition. For grade one gyno, surgery tends to produce very successful outcomes.

Grade 2: Moderate Breast Enlargement without Excess Skin

Type or grade two of gynecomastia, which is considered a moderate form of breast enlargement, is categorized by breast growth that expands broadly across the chest. The growth tends to stop at the width of the chest, going no further. Grade two can be very noticeable in T-shirts, which can contribute to both psychological and social issues. The best treatment for grade two gyno tends to be breast surgery reduction. This consists of mammary gland incision and liposuction to remove the excess fat. As with grade one, surgery tends to produce favorable results.

Grade 3: Moderate Breast Enlargement with Excess Skin

Also considered a moderate form of breast growth, grade three gyno is identified by significant breast enlargement. With this grade, the breast tissue swells and expands beyond the width of the chest. For this grade to manifest, there needs to be at least some amount of excess skin, which is very noticeable, even when clothed. Surgery is the only form of treatment that can treat grade three of gynecomastia, which can produce more masculine results.

Grade 4: Significant Breast Enlargement with Excess Skin

This grade of gynecomastia is identified by severe breast enlargement with substantial extra skin. The breasts tend to be highly visible and can mimic female breasts. Surgery is the only form of treatment and can reduce the male breasts to a more normal contour.

How Does Each Gynecomastia Grade Form?

Hormone imbalances, illegal drug use, and steroid abuse are just some of the causes that can lead to a gynecomastia condition. There also exist other factors that can determine how severe the condition can become.

Age: The older you are, the less elastin and collagen your skin possesses. Without these elements, the skin can begin to break down, which in turn leads to sagging on or around the chest. The aging process can exacerbate male gyno, which has the potential to advance your gynecomastia grade.

Genetics: Gynecomastia can run in your family. If your family members have any form of the condition, you may have it too. Yours may not look exactly like theirs, but the condition can be present, and surgery can help.

Weight Gain: Male and female breasts are the same in that they are largely composed of fat. The more weight you gain, the larger your chest can become. Even a slight amount of fat gain can make gynecomastia more pronounced. With severe weight gain, your skin may lose the elasticity needed to bounce back, even if you manage to lose the excess weight. This can cause the skin to permanently sag, which only surgery can treat.

Sun Damage: An extreme amount of sun exposure can further sap the skin of vital components like elastin and collagen. Not only can an overabundance of sun give you sun spots or a leathery appearance, but the ultraviolet light can also break down skin cells over time. This can lead to an even greater amount of sag and a worsening of your gyno symptoms.

Overweight men gyno type

 

Is Gynecomastia Surgery Necessary?

Now that you know more about gynecomastia grades and how surgery can treat your condition, you may be considering surgery, but you’re still not convinced. This is perfectly normal, as surgery is a major decision, no matter if you have a minor or severe form of the condition.
A common question people often have is: Can gynecomastia ever harm my health? The answer is that, unless the condition is caused by something other than gyno – male breast cancer, for example – then no, gynecomastia usually won’t cause you pain. Nor is gyno likely to limit your life in any significant way.
There is a caveat there. If the male breasts rub against your skin, you might form rashes that can then become infected. The male breasts may also tug on the muscles that support your neck and back, leading to poor posture and other harmful outcomes.
Then there is the psychological pain that comes with having male gynecomastia. Now that you know which type you have, you should know that millions of other men are similarly suffering. They, too, become very choosy about what they wear so as not to accentuate their chests. They are hesitant to strip off their shirts to swim or when playing sports, all out of fear of being mocked.
These are just two examples of how gynecomastia can cause discomfort to any degree, no matter the grade. Cosmetic breast reduction surgery can help.

How Can Gynecomastia Surgery Help with My Grade of Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia surgery can remove the excess breast tissue to restore your chest’s contours to a normal shape. Imagine being able to wear any type of shirt knowing you’ll look just like every other man. If you work hard to build up your chest in the weight room, picture yourself flexing without the extra fat clinging to your pecs. Even if you have a minor form of gynecomastia, such as grade one or two, you can boost your self-esteem to immense levels simply by undergoing a simple breast reduction.

How is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?

Gynecomastia surgery is performed under general anesthesia, though some surgeons might instead opt for oral sedation mixed with a local anesthetic, depending on the severity of the condition. For conditions where only excess fat is present without excess tissue, such as the initial grades of male gyno, liposuction is typically used to extract the fatty tissue that exists behind and around the areola.
Some men with gynecomastia also have puffy nipples. Male breast reduction surgery may involve a resizing and repositioning of the areola and nipple to match the newly configured chest contours.
In cases where excess tissue is present, such as with grades three and four, tissue excision helps to restore the chest to a flatter shape. Excision means that the gynecomastia surgeon is cutting away unwanted skin before the chest is recontoured with an artistic touch. Liposuction is often simultaneously used with excision to remove fatty tissue that contributes to the gynecomastia condition.

Man boobs removal surgery

 

What is Recovery Like After Breast Reduction Surgery?

You will do most of your recovery at home following your gynecomastia procedure. During this time, you may be asked to wear a compression garment. This constricting vest improves your circulation and offers support at the surgical site. You can take the garment off occasionally for hygiene purposes but wear it the rest of the time as directed to ensure you get the best results from your breast reduction.

 

Bruising and Swelling

You should expect to see bruises and swollen tissue around the surgical site during the gyno recovery process. This is normal and is a result of the trauma inflicted during surgery. Any time tissue is cut or manipulated, bleeding, bruising, and swelling can result. Your doctor will instruct you on how to properly care for the surgical site to prevent infection until fully healed. You can also be proactive in adopting certain habits after surgery that can keep bruising and swelling, as well as any discomfort, to an absolute minimum. These include the following:

Keep Hydrated

It is crucial that you remain hydrated during the recovery process. If you are dehydrated, your body may try to retain water, which can exacerbate swelling. To keep swelling to a minimum and initiate rapid healing, keep your body hydrated by drinking at least eight cups of water per day.

Sleep Well

The quality of your sleep will also determine how quickly and well you heal. Getting a full-night of rejuvenating sleep each night is critical to your body’s natural healing process. To improve the quality of your sleep, make sure you sleep in a cool, dark room without distractions for at least six to eight hours per night.

Sleep Elevated

The way you sleep can help you heal faster and more thoroughly. Try to sleep on your back with your upper body elevated to around forty-five degrees. Sleeping this way ensures you won’t pull against the surgical site while you slumber. This sleep position also pulls blood away from the surgical site, which minimizes bruising.

Eat Healthily

You may want to reach for the comfort foods while you’re recovering from surgery, but you’re better off stocking your fridge and pantry with nutritional foods. If you want to keep bruising to a minimum, fill your plate with more leafy greens, which are rich in vitamin K. These foods make your blood thicker, which can cut down on bleeding and bruising.

How Long Does Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery Last?

If you follow your doctor’s advice, you could be back to your usual activities in just a couple of weeks following gyno surgery. Your doctor will advise you not to lift heavy weights for a few weeks afterward, just to make sure you don’t pull against the surgical site. The chest will remain tender for some time where the male breasts were excised or excess fat was suctioned away, but all should be healed within six to eight weeks. Your recovery period may vary depending on how fast your body heals.

Are There Any Risks to Gynecomastia Surgery?

As with any cosmetic surgery (or a surgical procedure of any other kind), gynecomastia surgery does have risks. You can minimize your level of risk by choosing a skilled and experienced gynecomastia surgeon. The best gynecomastia surgeon for your case will be one who can show before and after pictures to prove they can restore your chest contours to a more normalized shape.
Potential risks of gyno surgery include infection, bleeding, excess bruising, breast asymmetry, and an unfavorable outcome. You are encouraged to ask about potential risks to your health during the safe and private consultation with your gyno surgeon.

How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost?

You may be surprised to know that gynecomastia surgery only costs $4,239, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Compared to other cosmetic surgeries, gyno surgery is one of the least expensive and most patients are very satisfied with their results.
When you consider the boost of confidence you can gain from male gyno surgery and the increase in your quality of life, you’ll see that gynecomastia surgery is well worth it, no matter your gyno grade.
Learn more about gynecomastia surgery and what it can do for you by calling the Gynecomastia Center of Los Angeles, home of esteemed gynecomastia surgeon Dr. Babak Moein.

Find out if Gynecomastia Surgery is Right for You!

Learn about your options for male breast reduction surgery by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Moein.

Here, you are guaranteed an exceptional patient experience.
From the moment of your initial meeting to surgery and beyond, your health and body shape goals will take top priority.

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